Growing up, Jinger Duggar didn’t fantasize about a fairy-tale future.
“I was never one of those girls to sit around like, ‘Oh, I want this proposal, this ring, this wedding,’” the star of TLC’s Counting On exclusively reveals in the latest issue of Us Weekly. “I always thought, ‘Whatever this young man does, I’m sure I’ll be so in love.’”
She underestimated that adoration. In December, while on a missionary trip to Central America, she bonded with former soccer pro Jeremy Vuolo (the two had met through big sister Jessa and her husband, Ben Seewald, in May 2015), and they soon began courting. Seven months later — and only a month after they publicly announced their courtship — the pastor proposed on July 25 on a rooftop in NYC with a .75-carat ring.
“It’s an answer to my prayers,” says the sixth oldest of Michelle and Jim Bob’s 19 kids. “I asked God for this in a future spouse, and He has done far above anything I could have ever imagined or dreamed in bringing Jeremy into my life.”
For their upcoming Arkansas nuptials, the devout Baptists are planning a first for this Duggar generation: a small celebration. “We’re trying to keep it intimate, between family and friends,” Vuolo reveals, adding that they’ve yet to set an official date. “We want to be very intentional with who we invite.” (Refresher: Both her sisters Jill Dillard and Jessa had about 1,000 guests at their weddings.)
After the “I do,” Jinger, 22, will move from her Tontitown, Arkansas, hometown to Laredo, Texas, to work alongside Vuolo, 28, in the ministry. “I’m so excited to be joining my best friend,” she gushes.
They’ll also start thinking about growing their family. “Well, I love kids,” she says. “I’m excited for the future, when Jeremy and I are married, to start a family.”
But are they counting on a brood as big as her family’s? Adds Vuolo, “We haven’t talked about size, but I know we both love children. They’re a joy. We’ll have to see what the Lord provides.”
For more on their love story — how they make their long-distance relationship work and what her brothers think of her fiancé — pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.
Season 2 of Counting On returns to TLC Tuesday, August 23, at 8 p.m. ET.